We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Murray and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Megan, what is the most important factor behind your success / the success of your brand?
I try my best to measure my success by how much fun I’m having.  I figure, if I’m still having a blast, then I’m doing something right.   The number one thing that I try to do with my business, and maybe more importantly with my life, is to stay true to myself. I don’t want to be distracted by what other photographers are doing, the presets they are using, or the photoshop “effects” floating around out there. The science of photography has never really appealed to me. All the extra gear, the fancy lights, the computers and the apps, that’s not my thing. It’s the art that draws me in. So I try to stay in my lane and seek out the things that I find beautiful. I believe that when you love what you are photographing, it shows up in your photos. I’m drawn to wild, open spaces, beautiful sunsets, movement and maybe most importantly, the love that exists within families. I think I do my best work, when I’m using my camera to study those things that draw me in. If I let what works for other photographers creep into my work, I know I will lose myself, and my work will suffer.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

If I had to put what I aim to shoot into words, it would be “Wild and Free”. I remember reading Little House on the Prairie when I was younger and being in awe of that life and that era. Dusty covered wagons, long flowy dresses, and tall grasses waving in the wind. I feel like maybe my soul belongs in that time. In a slower time, when mornings were spent gathering garden strawberries in the fold of women’s aprons, and evenings were spent gathering for stories around the wood burning stove. I named my business after this era, using my Great-Grandmother Hazel, as my inspiration. Her husband, Bill ran a bakery, spending his day surrounded by the smell of fresh rising bread. She stayed home, took care of her two girls and perfected her recipes. Recipes that she would later share with me, her great-grandaughter over bread and butter sandwiches. I think my interest in all things from days gone by is why I’m so attracted to black and white photos as well. They seem to isolate a moment in time the way no color photo can. Memorializing that second forever. I’m still learning and growing every day in photography. The strange thing about art, and what sets it apart from so many things, is that there is no finish line. There is no moment where you declare victory or consider yourself done. It moves and changes just as you move and change and I’m determined to keep pushing myself to grow along with it.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love being a tourist in this city! There is so much to do and see here and so much history. So I’d probably encourage someone from out of town to start at Union Station. (Book a room at the Oxford Hotel so that you can just walk right over). Stop for brunch at Snooze, I suggest the breakfast tacos with a Pineapple Upside Down Pancake on the side. Then take some time to browse the shops, pick up a floral bouquet at BLOOM and find a chair to take in the most incredible people watching. Afterwards, I’d recommend checking out the Downtown Tattered Cover. Its wood columns, green carpet, old squeaky floors, and the smell of books are like a hug from your mother. Next I would probably tell them to head to Washington Park. To rent a boat on the lake and then drive around to soak in all the beautiful historical homes. Stop at Overt for the best latte in the city (and get a BLT to go, just in case). You can’t come to Denver without driving up to Red Rocks and taking in the breathtaking view, or a concert if you’re lucky. The performance is always made better by the amount of work you had to put into walking up to your seat (wheeze, wheeze). On your way back into town, pop into Fancy Tiger Crafts for a crafting class. And then if you aren’t too worn out from all those activities, or the altitude, hit up Uncle’s outdoor patio for noodles and a Good Humor cocktail (like an adult creamsicle in a glass). I’m already spiraling about all the things I left out like the History Museum, Nocturne Jazz Club, and don’t even get me started on taking a Gondola up Vail Mountain. Can you tell I like this City?

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The list of people who contributed to helping me build my confidence enough to turn my hobby into a business is so long it’s hard for me to know where to start. Maybe I’d start with my personal coach in Dubai (we were both in coach training and practicing with each other weekly) who held my hand step-by-step as I worked through self-doubt and the drama of setting up and naming my business. Or maybe I’d begin with my favorite photography mentor, whose retreat I attended well before I had any clue what I was doing and who opened my mind up to all that was possible through the camera lens. Maybe I’d mention my favorite book for finding your path, “The Artists’ Way” or the incredibly creative book club group that surrounded and supported me as I walked through the process. I probably should have led with my husband and kiddos who put up with my running out at sundown to do photos, and my Mama who often babysits my kids for me so that I can get to shoots in time for Golden Hour. And maybe, most importantly, I’d credit my friends who were willing to be my guinea pigs when I was first starting out! They got dressed, put on make-up, and wrestled their kids into cute clothes just so that I could practice with my old teeny tiny camera! They dealt with my oversaturated colors and long turn around times and still encouraged me. And for that I will forever be grateful.

Website: www.hazelsroots.com
Instagram: @hazelsroots
Facebook: Hazel’s Roots Photography

Image Credits
all images by Hazel’s Roots Photography

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